Over 300 individuals attend CHAMPS, or Coordinated Health And Mental Health Programs and Services, the goal of which is to help individuals with a mental health diagnosis take charge of their health and wellness and feel better.
Simcha Feuerman, Ohel senior director of outpatient services, comments “Ohel’s ongoing efforts to break down stigma and provide an optimum environment for holistic mental health and medical care is epitomized in CHAMPS and Ohel’s New Jaffa Family Campus–a Center of Excellence, which provides developmental disability services, mental health services, and medical services.
The CHAMPS Program—which includes a team of doctors, therapists, nurses, case managers, peer specialists, group facilitators, and a fitness specialists—together provides the help, support, and tools to improve the physical health, longevity, independence, and overall wellbeing of program participants.
A recent evaluation of the program’s performance showed positive medical and mental health outcomes from reductions in blood pressure, BMI scores, weight, and cholesterol levels to improved breathing.
As one program participant shares, “I have always struggled managing my anxiety. Being part of the CHAMPS exercise group has made me more at peace with myself and increased my sense of self competency, having mastered elements of mindfulness based physical activity.” Sharon, another client, comments, “I always longed to develop deep friendships and interpersonal relationships. Now after joining CHAMPS social skills groups I have a richer social life.”
Ohel has in addition contracted with two schools of occupational therapy (Touro School of OT and York College School of OT) to provide program participants with additional activities of daily living vocational and nursing supports through group and individual care.
Ohel is also creating an educational framework that supports a new generation of future practitioners focused on community-based integrative medical and mental health care.
Nachum Weingarten, a well-known PA who is the director of the Ganger Family Medical Center at the New Ohel Jaffa Family Campus, additionally works alongside the CHAMPS Team. The new medical center will be open to the public six days a week.
Always attuned to the feedback and needs of its clients, CHAMPS looks to expand program services to include computer training, vocational assistance, exercise, nutrition, and weight loss groups as well as expressive therapy groups. They believe that program participants are deserving of as much support as they work to ensure clients achieve their health goals of medical wellbeing and life satisfaction.